Reflections on 2016
Updated: Aug 28, 2020
Okay, okay! So watching everyone reflect on 2016, really makes me want to do it too! I can't deny it, I want to be part of the pondering, insightful, reflective and self-aware crowd. I've always wanted to be a cool kid. (For real tho - I'm probably more follower than leader, surprised? Not me!). So as I was thinking about it over the last few days, this saying popped into my head...
"Let that sink in"
It seemed harmless at the time, maybe I was thinking about a solution to a problem I was working on, maybe I heard it while I was listening to a podcast, reading a book, watching a video with the hubs. I don't know who said it, but the saying has stuck with me for the last few days.
Then it hit me. That's my 2016! That's what the Lord was trying to speak to me. That's what life was trying to get me to do. So much transition has happened in my life in the last year. New home, new marriage, new roles (wife, helper, entrepreneur, work from home professional, momma, dog momma) - you name it - life has changed! And throughout the year, the transition was not always easy, there were emotional explosions, confusion, depression, excitement, joy, bliss, peace, confidence, courage, exhaustion, jealousy, trust, no trust, silos, loneliness, new friendships, old friendships...you name it, the roller coaster ride was legit!
So how does "Let that sink in" describe the ride? Well, for one, I'm pretty tough-minded and stubborn. Those who know me, have witnessed the hardheadedness. I have to learn the hard way. I have to try it out, I have to examine, use, see, feel, witness and be told over and over and over and over that it's good. Affirmation is after all one of my top two love languages (the other being quality time). But please Lord, make it plain - affirm me! And everyone around me - affirm me! Husband - affirm me, work - affirm me, man it's a constant upkeep with this one friends. I need affirmation! And it's sad at the same time, because if you boiled me down, the times I've thrived the most is when I had the least affirmation, ironic. So 2016 - "Let that sink in" - what had to sink in? Let's start at the top.
Jesus - My Lord, my Savior, my refuge, my best friend, my comfort, my peace, my provider...I needed to let it sink in that He above all else was going to continue to carry me through the new season, through the new marriage, through the pregnancy, through my roles as helper, entrepreneur, wife, follower. I needed to be closer to Him than ever, and I have to admit, this year, I ebbed and flowed in the Spirit, I diligently read, then I diligently ran from His word. I'm still learning to meditate on it day and night, I'm still learning to run to it when all else fails and I'm still learning to trust Him when I feel like everything is shattering around me...so sweet child He says "Let that sink in, I'm not going anywhere." "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you." - Deuteronomy 31:6 NASB Wife - I'm a wife, I'm married, I have a husband. I can rest in this...yeah..."Let that sink in" - who are you competing with dear child? He chose you, you are enough, you are the one. And so what if meal-planning went out window, you still have jealousy in your heart, you have abandonment issues from when you were a child, you don't feel pretty and worth it and you don't know how to communicate effectively? Whelp, that all happened and so much more...but you're still here. Grace carried you, grace picked you up, grace saved your marriage, day in and day out, and your husband, full of grace still believes, loves and chooses you everyday. We did it! One year and a few months later we are still here, and I love him more today than I did yesterday and the day before...and I'm SO THANKFUL for him, SO THANKFUL for Jesus in His life and Jesus in my life. As we both exclaim, day after day, we can't do this without Jesus! Thank you babe for loving me and taking such good care of me through the ups and downs. "For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace." John 1:16 ESV Stay at home _______________ (whatever, fill in the blank), this one is hard for me. My identity always came from my career, my work, my goals at a job. So that's not to say I haven't had work to do this year. But finding my sweet spot of working at home, for School of Permaculture, for It Works, for my family - I still struggle, I struggle with motivation, with getting things done, with balancing wife and work. And who doesn't? So letting it sink in - in this area - is as the other two - still a work in progress. I love having a to do list, I love being busy, but I also love doing nothing. Finding my identity in Christ first, has always been a struggle for me, finding my identity in work has come easy - even when it's not right, off balance and drives me and everyone else into the nut house...so thank you 2016 for all the lessons, the good, the bad, the ugly, the great, the unexpected joys around each corner. We did it! We accomplished a lot, we got work done, we learned new skills, we grew businesses and we survived! Remember though, our identity is in Christ! "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9 NIV Momma - WOW! I'm a momma...well, she's not here or out of my belly yet, but I'm a momma! "Let that sink in," - as my husband exclaims - "Whoodang?!" Lord, first of all thank you! It's a funny story, before the Lord really got a hold of my heart, I used to call Marriage the "M" word as in it's a bad word. I lived in sin with boyfriends and I refused to even speak on the topic, and children, nope, not having them. And then friends older and wiser than me started saying, just wait, you'll get that baby bug - whatever. Well, I turned thirty and my body truly started talking to me, I thought it was a joke. Then, I moved to Texas where the Lord removed the scales from my eyes and I got to see what marriage was about, it was about Jesus, not all the images I had in my head. AND THEN, I decided I wanted both, a marriage and a baby. Well, in the midst of a relationship back in 2012, I found myself with a man who didn't know what he wanted, and I cried out to the Lord, because in my heart I had heard Him say that I was to have a child. And in that crying out the Lord answered me...LOUD AND CLEAR...and promised me, I would have a child. So I ended that relationship, after all the Lord had spoken, and I'm so thankful I did, because here I sit, 33 weeks pregnant, married to the best man I've ever known and we have a daughter, Faithful Elizabeth on the way...THANK YOU JESUS!!! When I reconciled the fact that the Lord had promised me a child, before I had a beau, I would say to the doubters who thought I was getting a bit too old, well, Sarah was 90 when the Lord gave her a child, so I've still got time! And here we are, I'm 41 and my baby girl is healthy as can be and I'm going to be a momma!!! "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God." 2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV So, I'll stop there. 2016 had so many lessons, but I'm ready, just like everyone else to start the new year. I am sad that I'm not starting with a new fitness routine, I'm not ready to kick the baby weight to the curb yet, and those always energize me, but hey, this little angel in my belly is soooo worth it! So for 2016, I'm going to adopt this saying...
"Make Every Minute Count"
It's on the new planner I bought, so it's not like I dreamed this up - but I figured, it's good, and I will make it better, I will make it work and I WILL MAKE EVERY MINUTE COUNT! And my planner will remind me daily, it will be good, it will be fun and I will embrace each day as it come...letting all of God's goodness sink in!Love you all - thanks for being a part of my journey! Blessings to you today and in the new year! And as you think of me, us, and our baby girl, just lift up a prayer, we love praying for our friends and family and we love it when we are prayed for! Thank you!